Organic vs. Paid Search Marketing: Which is More Profitable for Your Brand?

Online traffic is what keeps a business going digitally. Among the immense number of sessions or visitors that land on your website, only a small proportion of that traffic can be your potential customers who are willing to pay you for using your services or products. Hence, driving huge traffic to your website will eventually lead to the success of your brand.

While running different marketing campaigns for your brand or your Clients, have you ever wondered whether organic SEO or paid marketing campaigns performed better in the long run.

As usual, you’ve spent a lot of time and resources crafting well-researched and SEO-oriented content. You are pretty confident this content will bring in all the leads.

And after a couple of weeks, you see that it doesn’t.

What’s wrong here?

  • UI/UX Design?
  • The Brand’s unique voice? OR
  • Are you targeting the wrong audience?

If you think your writing team has done a great job, most probably, you don’t have the lack of content. You’re just facing the traffic problem.

First things first, for your specific content and lead generation campaign to really take off, you have to make sure it gets the right eyeballs by increasing its reach and visibility in front of the right people. In simple words, you have to make sure you are getting the right traffic to your content, attracting the type of leads who will have a higher probability of converting on your offer.

If you miss capitalizing on the right traffic channels, you aren’t really doing it the right way. As you are already aware, there are two primary sources of traffic for any online lead generation campaign: organic traffic or paid traffic.

Organic SEO

When someone talks about organic traffic or search engine optimization (SEO), they usually refer namely to organic SEO. It is probably the most lucrative mode of marketing to the majority of bloggers and online businesses on the web.

In fact, if you are an individual freelancer, a new blogger, a startup, or even a small company with a shoestring budget, you are probably practicing organic SEO at this very moment.

This online marketing term refers to all of the website modifications and actions that actually improve your Google rankings thus boosting your free (not paid) website traffic.

Therefore, “organic traffic” is website visits originating from unpaid search queries.

Your organic traffic comes from search results for keyword phrases (search queries), or from social media posts that drive people back to your blog, service pages, or landing page.

Here’s a list of things that you need to do during an organic SEO campaign/monthly SEO package:

  • Finding target keywords with a great ranking and conversion potential.
  • Creating well-researched, SEO-friendly, and highly actionable content pillars for your website/blog around these keywords and/or variations.
  • Promoting that content via social media, email marketing and blogger outreach to get social shares, links, and organic traffic which will increase your sales.

Paid Advertising/PPC

Any form of paid advertising is regarded as non-organic SEO.

Whether we talk about PPC (pay-per-click), conducting paid advertising, or paid affiliate marketing, they all have the same traits. Instead of boosting your internet visibility gradually over time, you pay to be directly placed above everyone else in the paid results.

There’s a good chance that you’ve heard or read a little bit about online ads at some point.

It’s likely that most of what you’ve heard about when it concerned online ads was referring to the Google Ads program. Google Ads are one of the largest forms of Internet advertising around. Most of their ads are pay-per-click.

Pay-per-click marketing work pretty simply, however, there is a huge gap between setting up your Adwords account and running a successful campaign. If you’re the website owner, when someone visits your website and clicks an ad you get paid money. If you’re the person who’s placing the ad, you only get charged money when someone clicks the ad that you placed. There are two other main forms of ads. Cost per action and cost per impression.

Cost per impression means that every time your ad gets a certain amount of views, you are charged money. The default for this is usually 1,000 views. Cost per action means that the amount is paid every time someone clicks on the ad and does something on the ad website. Usually, that means buying something on the website.

If your marketing budget qualifies, plan to integrate paid advertising into your lead generation strategy. Marketing experts intensely recommend allotting at least a modest amount each month to generating leads through paid sources, such as:

  • Native Ads
  • Retargeting Ads, and
  • Email marketing

Let’s make a list of all the pros and cons:

Organic SEO


  • Doesn’t require a lot of money (can be done even for free).
  • A long-term investment.
  • Gives you a hands-on control of your marketing.
  • Allows you to tweak things as you go.
  • Can bring you much more traffic than paid ads.


  • It does require a lot of time.
  • If you do not have any other source of traffic, it can starve your website.
  • Requires a lot of time, knowledge and experience for optimal results.
  • There are no guarantees.

PPC/Paid Advertising


  • Instant results.
  • Great for creating brand awareness.
  • Brings in guaranteed targeted traffic.
  • Much less involvement than natural SEO.


  • Can be really expensive.
  • Requires constant investing.
  • Once you stop paying all the traffic disappears.
  • Usually generates much less traffic.

What should you choose?

Regardless of your decision, prepare to invest a lot of resources. Maybe not money, but time and effort.

Brand Prominence

When a consumer sees that your brand has a presence in both the organic SEO and the paid PPC campaigns, the consumer sees your brand as influential and an industry leader. Some consumers prefer to trust organic results more (knowing that the position wasn’t purchased), while others tend to click on the paid search results more. Combining the two approaches to cover as much of the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) as possible will greatly increase customer traffic as well as maintain the customer’s perception that you are an established (and therefore trustworthy company) in a particular market.

Data Analytics

Running simultaneous SEO and PPC campaigns allows you to compare twice the data. By determining which SEO and PPC keywords have the highest conversion rates, you can utilize that information to optimize not only your website but your overall marketing structure.

Use PPC data to Optimize SEO Descriptions

PPC ads are very easy to test and determine just which keywords and ads are resulting in the most conversions – and which ones aren’t. While SEO often has success with the same keywords and tactics that PPC ads do, testing various title tags, meta descriptions, and page content can take an exceptionally long time.  Using tactics that work in PPC ads (and can be tested very quickly) in SEO campaigns will save you both time and money.

Use of Site Search Data

The key to successful PPC advertising is to determine the keywords used by your customers who have a conversion. By enabling a site search tool on your website, tracking the terms used, and analyzing the results, you can gain valuable knowledge regarding your customer’s keyword preferences.

Final Words

When considering the positives and negatives of SEO versus PPC, both marketing channels can produce flattering business results for your brand. When done right in a pure white way, SEO is highly profitable and produces long-term organic results. Both SEO and PPC marketing are beneficial to your marketing mix but should align well with your business goals.

Vikas Singal
Follow Me
Categories SEO

5 thoughts on “Organic vs. Paid Search Marketing: Which is More Profitable for Your Brand?”

  1. The investment aspect is so important. Bloggers think that you can get something for nothing. But that does not exist in the world. Either you invest time and energy to master SEO are you invest a sizable portion of money to do paid marketing right.

    • Thanks for the quick thoughts, Ryan. And you pointed towards the right point – investment. That may go forward in terms of content research, influencer outreach, link building, or even paid marketing. Best content needs to come out in front of massive audience and that doesn’t happen without applying efforts to it.

    • Great way to put it, Ryan. Either way, you’re investing something. I prefer investing time. I get so much more value out of the genuine relationships I build with other bloggers. I do some paid, of course. It does drive traffic, but I feel that it should compliment the SEO and content focus rather than replace it.

      • The buzz word – “genuine relationships”. I like it and admit that it brings great results.

        I don’t see it often though but I can see the practice on your blog, and from Ryan Biddulph and Moss Clement.

        Again, what I think is paid advertising (Google Adwords specifically) should be done only when it matches with your business goals. SEO is my evergreen option of online marketing.

        • Ryan and Moss are shining examples of building relationships and helping others grow. SEO is 100% my main focus. Sometimes you need quick sales, and paid ads are great then. Or when you just launch a brand, it’s good to use paid ads to get your business off the ground and grab some sales. That said, content and SEO is be a strong focus, as that is what will help you sustain in the long run.


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